After a 60-Year Absence, Harpy Eagles Return to Nest in Belize
One of the largest and most powerful predatory birds in the Americas has returned to Belize for the first time in over 60 years. Scientists recently confirmed the sighting of a Harpy eagle nest in the Maya Mountains with as many as five birds, in an area where the birds had become extinct due to human activity. This may be the most northerly breeding Harpy pair, signaling a comeback for the species in Central America.
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“We were out doing our regular counts and observations when we heard a Harpy eagle calling,” said William Garcia, technician project leader of the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education team which made Harpy nest discovery. “It seemed to be fixed in one location, flying occasionally but returning to the same tree.”
Harpy eagles have nearly seven-foot-long wingspans and can take down prey as large as monkey and sloths. Their hind talons can be up to the size of grizzly bear claws and can carry about half their body weight.
Photo Credits: Gary Vestal/Getty Images | W. Perry Conway/CORBIS | Kevin Schafer/CORBIS |